Tips for Your Annual Media Buy

December 16th, 2013 by Jessica

bannerIt’s that time of year – 2014 media planning is in full swing! If you’re new to the planning and buying for your online advertising presence it can feel like a daunting task. I hope some of these tips will help.

Start with the big picture.

The first step in media buying is understanding your strategy and objectives. What are you trying to accomplish? Are you interested in lead generation or brand awareness? Developing a clear strategy will inform your goals and objectives. If you’re looking to generate more leads, you’ll want to think about activities that deliver contacts; webinars or downloadable assets. If your focus is brand awareness, then you’ll want to look towards banner ads. Once you decide on the objectives of your program, set goals that fit the objectives, whether they are around CTR or contacts generated.

Identify and learn about your audience.

One of the key aspects of planning bears being called out. Who are you targeting? And how will you reach them? It’s time to identify your target audiences and research the publications they’re reading. Tools such as SRDS and BPA Audit can help you understand what your target audience is reading. We also find it never hurts to ask around. What are your clients’ customers reading? It’s important to get this empirical knowledge, and then vet it with data.

Start planning!

Now that your plan is in place, it’s time to get in contact with your publishers. Make your goals clear, ask for what you want, and use their expertise to help you develop your plan. Here at McBru, we like to work closely with our ad reps. While we take our role to meet our clients’ goals seriously, we also rely on our ad reps’ knowledge of their publications to help us make the best suggestions.

Think critically and creatively.

Sometimes the most obvious option is not the best one, and sometimes the most well-worn path is not what’s going to work for you this year. This is where we like to explore new ideas. Maybe there are fresh ways to target banner ads, or maybe there are new lead gen activities. But don’t go overboard chasing the newest offering. You will need to strike a balance here and think critically about which direction you’ll take. How are these targeted ads performing? Is there any data behind a new offering? Answering these questions will help you figure out where program elements fit into your overall plan and how they will meet your goals.


Now that you’re planning is done, the real fun can begin. It’s implementation time! In case you’re looking for tips on making the most of your online advertising, check out one of our previous posts.

Banner designed by Stefan Parnarov from the Noun Project

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